ANAHEIM — Luis Rengifo added a new achievement to his breakthrough half-season.
Rengifo hit a pair of home runs to lead the Angels to an 8-7 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.
The infielder became the first Angels player to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game since Kendrys Morales in 2012. Rengifo hit a homer against lefty Robbie Ray – the reigning American League Cy Young winner – in the third inning, and he hit a three-run shot against righty Matthew Festa in the sixth.
Rengifo also bounced a single up the middle in his first plate appearance, setting up the Angels to score their first two runs.
The performance raised Rengifo’s batting average to .275 and his OPS to .748 this season. He has 13 homers. Since June 29, Rengifo has hit .300 with an .811 OPS over 66 games.
Rengifo, 25, has clearly cemented himself a spot on the 2023 Angels, but he still could fill a variety of roles. He could be the starter at second base or he could be a utility player who fills in at second, third and shortstop.
Rengifo was the top offensive performer for the Angels on a night when they also got a homer from Mike Trout.
Trout hit his 54th career homer against the Mariners, and his first since his seven-game homer streak ended on Tuesday night. Trout has now hit 36 homers this season, including 12 in the 24 games since he came off the injured list four weeks ago.
Taylor Ward also contributed a three-hit night, including a two-run single that put the Angels on the board in the first.
The offensive outburst helped Michael Lorenzen pick up a victory with his five-inning performance. Lorenzen allowed three runs in his second start since coming off the injured list, after allowing one last week.
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Lorenzen is a free agent at the end of the season, so he is trying to do all he can to set himself up for a deal over the winter. An Orange County native, Lorenzen has said unequivocally that he wants to return to the Angels.
Lorenzen gave up all three runs on two pitches that he left over the heart of the plate. Julio Rodriguez hit a changeup out in the first inning, and Carlos Santana hit a two-run homer on a cutter in the fourth.
After Lorenzen was done, relievers Aaron Loup, Andrew Wantz and José Quijada combined to allow three runs in the next two innings. Quijada loaded the bases in the seventh before escaping with a double play.
Jimmy Herget pitched a scoreless eighth and Ryan Tepera gave up Santana’s second homer of the game, in the ninth, before closing out the one-run victory.
More to come on this story.